Rice is one of the most important staple foods of Japan. If you ever find a chance to visit Japan, you will find that Japanese people consider cooking rice an art. People in Japan constantly strive to cook the best rice possible. If you walk into any home appliance store, it is highly likely that you might find a huge variety of electric rice cookers.
The Japanese way of cooking rice is a lot fancy than the other ways across the world. They are known to use special absorption techniques that make the rice fluffy, light, and slightly sticky unlike the regular boiling techniques. Once you understand the art of cooking rice, you are never again going to cook them in any other way.
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Top 7 Japanese Rice Cookers
Why Do You Need a Japanese Rice Cooker?
If you eat a lot of rice, you might consider buying an electric rice cooker to ensure high quality cooked rice every time. Owning one of these rice cookers will help you make good quality rice hassle free. The rice cookers have been popular ever since they were introduced into the market.
I have been cooking rice all my life and I know what cooking on a stove can do to your rice, until of course you are an expert. The overall process of cooking rice is on a stove is not difficult but cooking the rice just right could be a bit challenging. There have been a lot of times when I ended up with wet, burnt, or mushy rice. With the help of a rice cooker, I have been able to cook good rice every time. The entire process of cooking rice in a rice cooker is a piece of cake.
So if you love eating rice and cook a lot of it, using a rice cooker could help you save some time and energy. A rice cooker can cook a lot of other foods as well and even an inexpensive one could serve the purpose.
Basic Use of a Japanese Rice Cooker
To cook the fluffiest, lightest, and tastiest rice that can go with almost any type of food, all you have to do is follow a few steps:
Rice cookers are usually employed for cooking rice but can be very versatile in their uses.
Benefits of Having a Japanese Rice Cooker
A rice cooker cooks the rice perfectly with separate grains. The rice is cooked just right!
Most of the Japanese rice cookers come with measuring cups for rice and marks on the cooker bowl for accuracy.
The rice can be kept warm for longer times using the keep-warm option. Perfect for houses where everyone eats at different times.
A few models come with a steamer rack that allows you to cook fish, vegetables, potatoes, and shrimp among others.
You can even cook long simmered dishes.
You can cook all the types of rice without facing any issues.
Points to Ponder Before Buying a Japanese Rice Cooker
1.Volume of the Rice Cooker
The volume of the bowl is one of the most important parameters to be taken into consideration before buying a rice cooker. The volume of the rice cooker is suggestive of the amount of rice that can be cooked in one cycle. The most common sizes include 5.5 cups and 10 cups. A 5.5 cup size is ideal for a small family while a 10 cup size could serve a family of 8-10 members.
2.The Quality of the Bowl
The bowls are available in a large number of materials with aluminum and stainless steel being more common. While the cheaper models are made out of aluminum, the superior quality bowls are made out of stainless steel.
The heating characteristics of both the materials are different. Aluminum is known to heat very quickly and unevenly leading to improper cooking of food. Using a bowl made of steel could be a lot more beneficial because of it superior heating characteristics along with even heating.
Another important factor to take into consideration is the quality of the coating inside the cooker bowl. This coating should be non-sticky and durable. A lot of inexpensive rice cooker models use a low quality interior. Try to get a rice cooker with a durable coating that doesn’t chip off. The Teflon coated pans provide a non-sticky and easy to clean surface. Buying rice cookers with platinum infused Teflon coating could ensure longevity.
The basic models with have a simple logic such as add rice and water, switch start, and your rice will be ready. Such models use basic algorithm of multiplying X amount of heat for Y minutes.
Good high quality models, however, feature some additional controls that may include:
•Settings for different types of rice
•Long-simmered cooking option
•Digital display windows
•Scheduled cooking and delay-start options
•Remaining time display
•Real time adjustment of temperature and humidity options
•Quick cook options
Finding the rice cooker with right features is important when you are planning to use the machine for longer times.
Generally, the rice cooker bowl consists of a coiled electric heating element beneath it. Such bowls result in partial cooking of rice due to uneven heating. Such bowls are usually inexpensive and are made out of aluminum.
It is advisable to purchase a rice cooker which employs induction heating method. Induction heating ensures even heating across the bowl resulting in properly cooked rice.
A very good quality rice cooker involves a pressure cooking method that results in good quality, separate grained fluffed rice.
Taking the brand into consideration is one of the most important steps in the rice cooker choosing process. The regular brands available in the market tend to stop working after using them for only a few times.
In order to ensure that the rice cooker is high performance and long lasting, it is wise to purchase the machine from a well known brand with proven results and good ratings. As compared to almost all the other rice cookers in the market, the Japanese rice cookers are found to be the most durable ones. Buying a Japanese brand rice cooker could provide you exceptional cooking features at reasonable costs.
It is also important to think about the amount of money you are willing to spend on the rice cooker. To ensure a proper investment, you must consider how much you are going to use the machine.
For the ones who love rice and cook frequently, it would be smart to invest some money on a few additional features and buy the machine from a reputed brand. However, if you don’t use the machine very often, you can consider purchasing a basic model with simple cooking features.
7.Ease to Clean
When you are planning on buying a rice cooker, the ease it provides for cleaning becomes a really important factor. If the rice cooker is not cleaned properly, it will be difficult for you to use it after a couple of times.
Proper cleaning of the cooker will also ensure a long life.
A number of models available in the market have tried to make the cleaning process easy with exceptionally smart cleaning processes. It is also wise to purchase a rice cooker that comes with detachable parts so that you can simply remove the part and reassemble them after proper cleaning.
Best Japanese Rice Cookers on the Market
The rice cooker has a 5-liter volume which makes it suitable for families with 7-8 members. The cooker is also ideal for parties because of its large size.
The pack consists of a measuring cup, rice and soup spoon, and a steamer basket.
This fancy rice cooker features a 24-hour delay system so that you can be out all day and still come to a well cooked steaming plate of rice.
The model consists of an intelligent control panel which includes 11 function settings that allow you to cook all types of rice, vegetables, soup, and stew among others.
This Tiger brand rice cooker has been every rice lover’s favorite and has outstanding proven results and fine reviews since the time it has been introduced. Also, it has a pretty unique floral design that makes it stand out. This rice cooker is my personal favorite just because is so visually appealing.
The pack contains measuring cup and spatula along with a removable and washable steam vent.
The 5.5 cups rice cooking machine is ideal for a family of 5-6 members and comes with an automatic keep warm feature to keep your rice warm and fresh.
The stainless steel bowl ensures proper even cooking of rice all along. The rice cooker’s keep warm feature ensures that you get nice, hot, steamy meals whenever you are ready to eat
This rice cooker consists of 8 smart built-in programs that help you with cooking all kinds of rice. The model uses a patented technology that lets you select the level of softness and glutinosity.
This model is really convenient to wash because of its detachable cover. The pack contains a rice scoop, a measuring cup, and a user manual. The rice scoop has a non-stick layer that lets you serve rice with ease.
The machine involves the fuzzy logic technology to ensure that the rice is cooked perfectly by adjusting to the requirements.
One of the advantages of buying this rice cooker is how it adjusts the setting as per the cooking requirements without any pain. The interior of the cooker come with a detachable inner pot that helps you to ensure proper cleaning.
The rice cooker is designed with micro pressure valves that help make the rice really taste and give them an enhanced flavor. The pack consists of the necessary tools that are required to cook perfect meals.
This stainless steel 10 cup capacity Zojirushi rice cooker is one of the most popular rice cookers that have a massive user base along with superior quality reviews and ratings from all across the world. The rice cooker not just cooks the perfect rice for you and your family but also comes with a fancy steaming basket which can be used as a steamer and cake bake.
This rice cooker cooks enough rice in one cycle to serve one large family and comes with a wide variety of functions that include white/brown rice, sushi rice, mixed rice, porridge, sweets, cake, steam, and quick cooking.
The rice cooker is designed to cook perfect quality rice which is evenly cooked and comes with a signal that beeps once the cooking cycle has ended. This comes with a fuzzy logic technology that ensures a hassle free cooking experience. You can simply put the ingredients and start the cooker and it will adjust itself according to the requirement to give excellent results.
Zojirushi can be an expensive Brand but this rice cooker definitely worth the splurge.
This 8 cup capacity Aroma Houseware rice cooker has exceptional features to make your cooking experience a delight. This rice cooker is designed to cook all different types of foods along with steamed rice to pamper your taste buds.
The rice cooker cooks really fast cutting your regular cooking time by almost half. It consists of easy to operate programmable digital controls that allow to you keep your food warm for long hours after it has been cooked.
The machine has a single pot cooking feature that lets you cook everything at a single go. You can cook vegetables, or fish, or shrimp, or any other foods at the top with rice cooking at the bottom.
The 15 hour delay feature allows you to plan your meal beforehand. The pack contains a steam tray, a rice measuring cup, serving spatula, user manual, and exclusive recipes and coupons in order to have better options while cooking.
This rice cooker comes with a two in one basket that can be used both as a rice rinser basket and a steam basket making your cooking extremely comfortable. It allows you to cook healthy steamed food and rice simultaneously which makes the process fast and convenient.
With its pre-programmed setting, the rice cooker makes it easier to cook all types of foods effortlessly. The machine comes with a delay start feature that makes you plan ahead and cook even when you are not home. The keep warm feature of the cooker ensures that your food is warm until you are there to have it.
Once you are aware about all the best available Japanese rice cookers, it becomes a little easy for you to pick the right article that best serves your requirements. Before making the purchase, ask yourself a few questions such as:
•How frequently do you plan to use the rice cooker?
•How much are you willing to invest?
•What kind of features do you seek in your ideal rice cooker?
Answering these questions could help you properly understand your needs making you pick the right article that suits you best.
All the rice cookers in the market have some or the other great set of features but if you really wanted to pick the best, you might consider going with Tiger JNP-1000-FL because of the fancy features that make the cooker stand out from others.
This rice cooker has been popular ever since it was introduced and is still running in the markets, and in most cases, dominating it because of it superior quality and durability. The cooker is the ideal purchase when you want to cook perfect rice in no time along with the automatic keep warm feature that keep your meals just right till the time you decide to serve them. The automatic cleaning process makes the entire process extremely delightful.
Owner and Food blogger on The Cookware Geek. She loves cooking, baking, traveling, playing with the cats, and knitting. She believes that eating delicious meals doesn’t require a culinary degree or a Michelin-star chef in your kitchen.